Goblet squats are a simple and effective exercise to help you build abs of steel and full-body strength. In fact, goblet squats are a staple exercise for you to assess and build your overall strength.
With goblets squats, the weight is held in front of you as a counterbalance, which can help you learn to master proper squat form and technique.
Holding a weight in front of your body – whether a dumbbell, sandbag, or kettlebell – is much harder than squatting the same amount of weight on your back with a barbell. Goblet squats deeply engage your core, build leg and shoulder strength, and increase full-body tension.
Here’s exactly how to do goblet squats, from set-up to execution:
Mastering the goblet squat and optimizing your strength is all about form and technique. Keep these tips in mind as you do this exercise.
A very common mistake when doing goblet squats (and squats in general) is for the knees to cave in and the feet to collapse inward. This can happen for a couple of reasons:
Your knees should be in line with your toes as you squat, and your feet should be angled slightly outward, which gives you more space to get your hips into a deep squat position.
Doing partial squats is not as effective as squatting deeply with a neutral spine. Ideally, your hip joint will drop below the plane of your knees at the bottom of the squat position, without rounding your low back (aka butt wink). This maximally engages your glutes and legs in a very functional squat pattern.
To be clear, squatting “below parallel” or getting into a deep squat should not hurt your knees. And keep in mind – you need sufficient ankle, hip, and upper back flexibility to squat deeply without your lower back rounding.
For more information, check out “How Deep Should I Squat” and “5 Tips to Increase Squat Depth”.
As you squat, your heels should be planted firmly on the ground. This is key to activating the proper muscles involved in a squat such as your glutes, increasing joint stability, and maximizing your strength potential.
If your heels come off the ground, the exercise is not safe because you could lose your balance. I highly recommend flat-soled shoes or taking off your sneakers when squatting. A thick sneaker will significantly affect your squat form, the placement of your joints, and the recruitment of muscles.
Goblets squats are a classic exercise that help increase your strength & power. If you haven’t done them yet, give them a try. I personally prefer holding kettlebells over dumbbells, but you can use the piece of equipment that you’re more familiar with.
Working up to a 1/3 bodyweight goblet squat for 5 reps is a solid strength goal, and from there you can focus on doing 1/2 bodyweight goblet squats.
Are goblet squats a part of your workout program? Any questions about how to master proper form?